Regina jail inmates end hunger strike

About 115 inmates were protesting the quality of the food

REGINA — Inmates at a Regina prison appear to have ended their hunger strike.

A Saskatchewan government spokeswoman says no lunch trays were refused today at the Regina Correctional Centre.

The official says the menu was similar to what was served on Thursday, which included a cold-cut sandwich, coleslaw and soup.

About 115 inmates had been refusing to eat, saying the quality of the food was poor.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said he’s seen the menu and he believes inmates are getting good choice and quality food.

He also said if people don’t like prison food, then don’t go to prison.

Prisoners first raised concerns in November, shortly after food services at the jail were switched to a private company called Compass Group.

The Ministry of Justice announced in August that it had signed a five-year agreement with the company to provide food services in eight of the province’s correctional facilities.

The government said the change would save nearly $12 million over the five years.

The company supplying the food has existed in Saskatchewan for more than three decades and also does business with the such as the City of Saskatoon and the University of Regina.

“There’s a lot of very credible public and private institutions that have been pretty satisfied … with their food quality,” Wall said Thursday.

“I’ve tried their food. If you’ve been at TCU Place in Saskatoon, you’ve tried the food. It’s pretty good. Tried the food in Moose Jaw at Mosaic Place when we had a caucus meeting there. It was pretty good as well.”

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